Drawn Mochi Volume 5 Chapter 2.2: Painting Excursion*1

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 …Then, children came over.



“Wow! It’s a picture of the castle!” (Child)



 The painting of the castle is already 60% colored. I plan to add more details in the future, but for now, all the colors are recognizable, and some shading is in place. The children seemed to be amazed to see it.



“Oh, no, you can’t do that! You shouldn’t mess it up… I’m sorry, for my children.” (Woman)


“No, it’s okay.” (Tougo)



 The children who were looking at the picture were grabbed by the collar by a person who seemed to be their mother, coming from behind, she then pulled them back with a yank. …Well, they look like cats. Cats are carried like this, right?



“…Um, if you don’t mind, would you like to see it?” (Tougo)


“Can I!?” (Children)



 The children, who looked like grabbed kittens, began to look into the sketchbook with shining eyes.



“Oh my, it’s already… Thank you for letting me see it.” (Woman)


“It’s alright.” (Tougo)



 The children’s mother, with a face that was half apologetic and half happy, lightly bailed me out and began peering at the sketchbooks with the children. “It’s a castle.” “It’s a castle. Look, I think they are painting from here.” As I listened to her talk next to me, I felt ticklish. I’m restless. It’s refreshing.


  Then the children and their mother looked at my painting for a while, and then thanked me and left. Apparently, they were on their way home from shopping. The mother gave me three candies as a thank you.


 …So, I called up Lian and Ange, who were casually playing in the plaza, and decided to split the candies to each of us.


 The candy was tangerine-flavored. It has a nice refreshing taste. The candies were a beautiful clear orange color. They looked like jewels. If I bought a jar full of candies at a candy shop in King’s Landing put them on a sunny windowsill and painted them from a backlit angle, they could be beautiful. Yes, it would be beautiful. The souvenir would be a jar of candy. It’s decided.



 And so, I continued painting until the evening, receiving compliments and sweets from passersby in the Royal Capital’s Plaza, who looked at me, peeked at the painting, called to me, and praised me.


 By that time, I had finished my first painting of the Royal Castle. The fountain would have to wait until tomorrow. If the sun’s rays change, the picture will be different.


 Instead, I made a rough sketch of the park bench and the surrounding scenery. I would color it in at the time I liked. An evening bench would be nice, and a morning bench would surely be nice, too. Oh, I’m looking forward to it.



“How was it?” (Laocles)


“Well, it was fun. It’s so new. So many things are so fresh, so new, that… Five days might not be enough.” (Tougo)


“I guess. It looked like a lot of fun to watch.” (Laocles)


“Tougo, do you like the capital?” (Croix)


“Yeah. Very much.” (Tougo)



 I wanted to paint during the night, but it was getting a little difficult to paint by the light of the streetlamps, so I went into the inn.


 Fay had reserved the inn for us, so I headed to the inn with Laocles and Croix, who had picked me up at the plaza.



“Some people talked to you.” (Croix)



 On the way, Ms. Croix said that and smiled. …Was she watching?



“Did you see it?” (Tougo)


“Only part of it, yeah. The first time I’ve been to the capital in a long time… So, I went shopping. I’m getting used to the forest, but I still like the Royal Capital.” (Croix)


“Yep. I like it here too.” (Tougo)



 It’s quite a luxury to come to the Royal Capital to paint. I’m grateful that I can have this kind of luxury. There are many things I like here too.



“…I thought you wouldn’t have to worry about it, but, Tougo, is it safe to say that you’ll be painting tomorrow as well?” (Croix)



 Then Ms. Croix asked me that, so I answered immediately.



“Of course!” (Tougo)



 There was only one answer. Naturally, I will paint tomorrow. And the day after tomorrow, too. That’s all there is here.



“Teehee~ I’m glad. Then, let’s paint in the plaza tomorrow, too. I have other places in mind, so if you get bored, just let me know.” (Croix)



 Wow, I’m curious. I wonder what kind of place Ms. Croix who spent time in the Royal Capital would recommend to me. It must be a beautiful place. I could spend five days just in the plaza, but if it’s a good opportunity, I want to see various places. Well, it is a point making me hesitate…



 We ate at the inn, went to bed, got up at sunrise, and headed for the plaza.



“You’re early.” (Laocles)


“Excuse me, please join me.” (Tougo)



 However, it didn’t seem to be a good idea for me to be alone, so I asked Laocles to come with me. …He also woke up a little after sunrise. He came out of the living room of the inn while I was getting ready, so I called out to him and asked him to come with me. (The living room of an inn may seem strange, but it can’t be helped since it’s an inn with several private rooms connected to one living room.)



“Well, that’s all right. Even for Croix, it is preferable for you to stay outside for a long time.” (Laocles)



 …I see. I guess Ms. Croix had some sort of purpose in planning the trip to the Royal Capital. Hmm… Am I really okay with just drawing? Well, it’s fine if it’s okay, but…



 People taking their morning walk pass by the plaza. And some of them talk to me or look at my paintings. Well, this is fresh. In the forest, strangers don’t talk to me even if I am painting. …To begin with, there are no strangers in the forest. I know everything about the forest, so there are no horses that I don’t know…



 So, I painted, forgot all about breakfast, and at noon, Fay dragged me to a nearby café to eat.


 Let’s see… It’s a combination of breakfast and lunch, so it’s a duck meal. My teacher used to say that. [T/N: It’s either Teacher was joking or Tougo misheard. It should be Hiru Gohan or Lunch, not Ahiru Gohan or Duck Meal.]


 The teacher’s duck meals were usually not called “brunch,” so I think that expression was a good fit. …In that sense, what I’m eating now is a fancy open-faced sandwich, so maybe this is brunch rather than duck meal. Hmm.



“How’s it going? Did you get anything painted?” (Fay)


“Yeah. I finished painting the fountain. Now I’m painting the benches and the tree-lined streets of the capital.” (Tougo)



 There are many trees in the forest, but there are no trees lined up on either side of the road. So, I’m trying to draw something a little new. I plan to finish this by coloring it quickly without getting too elaborate. So, I thought, let’s move on to the next place.



“I see. Well, it looks like you are having fun.” (Fay)


“Yep.” (Tougo)



 Yes. That’s for sure, so I nodded with all my heart. That’s exactly right.


 Fay, who seemed to sense the strength of my feelings from my nod, asked while grinning and stirring a glass of something that looked like juice with a straw.



“…By the way, did you give your name to anyone?” (Fay)



 …Give my name, huh? Let’s see.



“Yep. Yesterday’s old man asked me if I was a painter, and I said yes. Then he asked me my name, so I said it. I also told another couple, an old man and an old woman. Then some kids said their names, so I said mine. Then there were two more boys about my age and a girl. Um, the rest…” (Tougo)


“I understand, I understand. That means everything going well.” (Fay)



 Fay swirled a straw around with satisfaction, then tilted the glass and drank the juice in one gulp. The straw was meaningless.



“Everything is going well? What?” (Tougo)


“You don’t need to worry about it. Maybe if you care, it won’t go so well.” (Fay)



 …That’s a little frustrating, but I can’t help it. If Fay says so, I will not ask further. And let’s paint a picture. Yeah. Right now, I just want to paint rather than listen to the story…



 …And so, I spent the rest of the day painting in the plaza.


 It’s just.



“Hey, you, over there.” (Voice)



 At dusk. As I was putting away my art supplies… Someone called out to me.



“I-I heard you call yourself ‘Tougo Uezora’.” (Voice => Boy)



 He was a boy about the same age as me, and he seemed a little nervous. Behind him were several other people about the same age, including a boy and a girl who had approached me earlier in the day. I wondered if we knew each other.



“Yes. I’m Uezora Tougo.” (Tougo)



 When I said my name, he looked even more nervous and said…



“I’m Tougo Uezora! You fake!” (Boy)




 What should I do with this…?



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